(Editor's note: Run photos by Pamela Portland, NTC and Fort Irwin PAO Director; ceremony photos by Ken Drylie, Public Affairs Specialist)

FORT IRWIN, Calif. -- The National Training Center and Fort Irwin kicked off its celebration of the United States Army's 238th birthday with an installation run, June 14.

Chief of Staff for the NTC, Col. Flip Wilson, and Command Sgt. Maj. Lance P. Lehr led a formation of home station units and community members as the early, bright sun rose and cast long shadows in this High Desert military installation. The early morning exertion had a celebratory mood as Soldiers chanted cadence, a few Soldiers ran with their dogs, and Soldier moms and dads pushed their babies in strollers.

Later that morning leadership, Soldiers, and community members gathered at a dining facility to partake in a ceremony. Soldiers wore uniforms representing various eras of the Army spanning back to the Revolutionary War. The youngest and oldest Soldier on the installation stood ready to help cut a cake -- a tradition conducted by Army posts world-wide.

Wilson spoke to the audience and explained that the Army has accumulated 187 streamers for campaigns during its existence. The streamers symbolize the devotion of the Army to its country.

"Every time the nation has called, the Army has answered, time and time again," Wilson said.

Wilson also stated that this year is the 60th anniversary of the Korean War and the 40th anniversary of the Army being an all-volunteer force. That characteristic of its Soldiers is paramount.

"It talks volumes about us and the greatest Army across the globe," Wilson said.

Lehr introduced Pvt. Michael Murphy and Lt. Col. Richard Lucchesi as the youngest and oldest Soldier on this post before the cake cutting with ceremonial sabers. Lehr also thanked the Soldiers and staff of the dining facility for preparing the ceremony, which included ice sculptures, a special meal, and two ornately decorated cakes.

Wilson expressed a happy birthday to the attendees and thanked them for their service.

"Thanks for all you do and everything you are about to do," Wilson concluded.

Page last updated Fri June 14th, 2013 at 00:00